Serving South Tampa
City Times: Published Fridays by the St. Petersburg Times

printer version

The new Plant High takes a bit longer

Most of the school's renovations will be done in about two weeks, but heating and air conditioning upgrades are to be ready for the new school year.

By AMY SCHERZER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 25, 2002

PALMA CEIA -- The trailer park of portable classrooms rimming Plant High will stay in place at least until August as yet more repairs are made to the historic school at 2419 S Himes Ave.

That was news to principal Eric Bergholm when he returned from winter break, ready to see an end to the $13.5-million construction and renovation begun in May 2000.

Instead he learned more hammering and drilling was to come.

What changed? The school district found money to pay for new heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment in South Hall, the media center and the administration office. Carpet may be replaced as well.

The additional work will cost approximately $550,000.

Teachers and students will adapt, Bergholm said. They got used to moving in and out of the 74-year-old Main Hall while workers painted, rewired, refloored and replaced windows, ceilings, roofing and air conditioning.

The South Hall repairs had been put on hold.

"Replacing the HVAC in South Hall was proposed as part of the original project but taken out to stay on budget," said architect and project manager Alice Sutton. "We prioritized the needs of the school and put it back in."

Sutton is hopeful the new project will be done when school begins Aug. 7.

All of South Hall will be emptied. Teachers in that wing will pack and relocate to the portables.

At least the student parking shortage has been resolved. With 32 trailers occupying what used to be a student parking lot, homeowners complained about students blocking their driveways, parking illegally and littering.

Opening a temporary lot in a physical education field created about 100 spaces and appeased students and neighbors.

- Amy Scherzer can be reached at 226-3332 or

Nuts and bolts

Plant High's $13.5-million building project should be finished in about two weeks.

It began with construction of a new, 2,000-seat gymnasium, locker rooms and six classrooms. The 40,000-square-foot addition was finished in August, at a cost of $4 million.

Another $7-million was spent to renovate the school's 160,000-square-foot primary classroom building and auditorium. What's left from the $13.5 million will pay for fixtures, furniture and equipment.

Next up: a new project. The school will spend $550,000 to upgrade heating and air-conditioning systems in the South Hall, the media center and administrative offices.

City Times: The rest of the stories

  • Grand Central: Hit men vs. the gas guy
  • Howard Avenue institution to get a make over
  • Who we are
  • City Times
  • Datebook
  • A royal flush of parties
  • A new design on life
  • Everybody's business: Get ready for bargain safaris
  • Residents ready to plant trees, paint
  • A life anchored firmly in the water
  • Testosterone will flow
  • Their dream house
  • Port tour flaunts what floats
  • What's in a name?: Busy road, daring hero
  • Showing off their school's heritage
  • The new Plant High takes a bit longer
  • Middle ground is goal in zoning arbitration
  • We're in / We're Out

  • Hillsborough
  • For many, this fire hits home
  • Father helps link son to knife attack
  • Indictment accuses eight of defrauding government
  • Sitcom writer brings funny business to USF

  • North of Tampa
  • Hidden corners show Town 'N Country's diversity
  • Leaders chosen for 3 new schools
  • Serene warriors
  • Anniversary
  • Out and About
  • Homeowners group promotes vinyl mailboxes
  • For hockey fan, paycheck is just icing
  • Road to traffic relief is maddeningly long
  • Golf outing will benefit disabled
  • Landscaping job will get day in court
  • Of India, in print
  • Competition draws in ideas for art center
  • Quick on the takedown
  • Gryphons hold their own in wrestling tournament
  • Looks can be deceiving
  • With teamwork, they enjoy success
  • Distractions cause stumbles
  • Gryphons' game is two of a kind
  • Remember, houseplants need wintertime boost
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

    The Weather
    current temp: 82 °
    real feel: 89 °
    Weather page